I haven’t been posting much here lately. I literally have dozens of writing ideas stashed away in my blog research notebook, but I just haven’t been able to get anything written.
The main reason is that I lost my job a little over two months ago. We’ve been lucky so far in that we have some financial resources that we have been able to draw on to keep us afloat, but these are quickly running out. Unemployment barley pays the bills and will leave nothing left over if that is the only thing we have to live on. Food stamps help, but $100 a month is hardly enough to feed a family of four.
I suffer from Bi-polar II and depression. I take medication for it. Still, the depression has been acute and this makes it very hard to concentrate, so writing anything of substance is difficult.
I’ve been using what little concentration I have to concentrate on finding a new job. The medication I take at least gives me enough stability to do that. I’ve had several interviews that didn’t pan out, and I have three more companies who want to interview me, but the Holidays put that off. Next week will hopefully see a lot of movement on the jobs front.
Going back to the issue of medical insurance, Medicaid covers the kids, but for my wife an I, we can’t get anything until we have met a $1100 monthly deductible. That’s almost as much as we are bringing in. I’m lucky. Being a veteran, I can go to the VA hospital here and get my medication for only $8 per prescription. My wife’s medication, on the other hand, we have to pay out of pocket. These run to several hundred dollars a month, making it even harder to make ends meet.
All of this makes me wonder, if I didn’t have access to the VA, and can’t afford to pay for my medication out of pocket ($300+ per month), how would I ever be able to look for a job? Without my medication I would almost surely be so bad off that I would either never get out of bed, end up in an inpatient facility, or dead. Seriously. Before I was diagnosed as Bi-polar II and got on the medication to treat it, I was suicidal. The only thing keeping me from killing myself were my kids. Since they live with me, I somehow managed to keep it together enough to care for them. If I didn’t have them, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be here now.
So, back to my point. If people like myself can’t get the medication they need to function, or in some cases even live (think diabetics who can’t afford their insulin, heart patients who can’t afford their heart medication), how can we be expected to function well enough to actually find a job? Job searching is hard. It is time consuming and incredibly depressing. Every rejection, or even every non-reply, is a slap down . How can you be expected to perform well at an interview if your mental state makes you anxious and jumpy, or depressed and lethargic (something all in the same day)? What if your diabetes or heart condition make it impossible to even get out to an interview?
Eventually, you could end up in the hospital (on the government’s dime), or worse. The least the government could do is to cover medications that people need to function while we are collecting unemployment and looking for a job. Otherwise, we become a burden to the state for much longer than we might otherwise, not to mention the terrible toll it can take on ourselves and our families.
Anywhoo, I still have some stock in my old company that I can sell if a job doesn’t come my way before the end of this month. It isn’t much, but will mostly cover rent.
Not being able to write is really bothering me. I have an article being published in Skeptical Inquirer magazine in a few months. I hope to use the exposure that I get from that to find other writing opportunities, not just to boost my ego, but to make some extra money. Even one paying article per month would help pay a car payment or car insurance. To do this, though, requires that I can be seen to be able to write not just well, but consistently and constantly. That is something I’m making a priority, now that I’m starting to feel somewhat better (was without meds for a while until I could get things going at the VA).
Given this, I’m making a plea to anyone reading this. I don’t want you to send money or anything like that, but if you know of anyone or anyplace needing some writing done, please let me know, or let them know about me. I know I said I’ve been having a hard time writing, but if I have a deadline I always have been able to deliver the goods. It would be a job, after all.
You may be asking yourself how I am able to write this if I’ve been having so much trouble. Easy, it’s about me. No research needed.